I can’t tell you how many business mixers I have been to where I have seen people head straight for the buffet table or the servers holding the Hors D’oeuvres trays. To make a good impression at a business mixer or networking event I always recommend eating before you arrive. Although the buffet line-up can be a great place to strike up a conversation, spending all your time there will not make the best impression. Also, juggling food and drink can present challenges when meeting people, shaking hands or while trying to carry on a conversation.
It’s interesting because many people are confused about what the purpose of networking is. This can create stress for some and leave others feeling like it was a bad experience. However networking is something that we do every day in both business and social settings. Networking is really just meeting new people and getting to know them. This will help you establish rapport and you never know where that will lead.
I recently attended a networking function and I was surprised at how many people don’t know how to use a name tag effectively.
A name tag is a great way to help others remember who you are and what you do. However, the size and placement are important.
The name tag should be legible from a distance. When writing your name, use large, thick capital letters. This will make it easier to read.
The eye will be drawn to the name tag so the placement is important. Wear a jacket with a lapel. Many nametags have clips that are meant to be attached to a lapel in order to hang properly. When attached to a shirt or blouse they ruin the line of the garment and look sloppy.
The name tag is always placed on the right. The reason for this is because when shaking hands the eye will automatically be drawn up the arm to the name tag and then to the face. In a business gathering this should be the target for the focus of attention.